Posts Tagged telemarketer

Time To Draw The Line? UK Muses Bill Prohibiting ‘Non-Consensual’ Cold Calling

It’s a time of flux in the telemarketing world: laws are changing internationally and indeed, some countries are forging long-distance alliances to crack down on tele-tormenters. The UK government is currently considering following other countries’ lead and introducing radical consumer protection measures with regard to cold calling.

Since 2010, for example, German citizens have had to specifically opt in to receive marketing calls and telemarketing companies are now legally obliged to display their caller ID. Meanwhile in the US, October 16th saw revisions to the Federal Communication Commission’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) come into force, forbidding telemarketers to solicit using autodiallers or prerecorded messages without the express written consent of the phone-owner. This ‘express written consent’ is, albeit, something of a misnomer, covering anything from

permission obtained via an email, Web site form, text message, telephone keypress, or voice recording.

Nonetheless, it is a bold and effective motion in the fight against cold call harassment and the tough financial punitive measures ($500-$1500 penalties per call or text) are proving a strong deterrent.

The UK, meanwhile, is yet to see such a measure come into effect. With those who have signed up to the TPS (about 75% of UK landlines) often reporting receiving double the amount of sales calls received by those who aren’t, British phone owners are starting to lose faith in regulators’ capacity to keep ‘direct marketers’ in line.

User Jay the Kay, for example, says of 01904530013:

Called – very annoying as ring off when you answer – no idea how they got my (very private) number as only 4 people have it!!

‘Not happy’ is also somewhat irked about relentless and untimely calls from 01209219844:

Very annoying automated calls about pension, repeatedly calling at between 1am – 2am, leaving messages etc, cannot get it to stop, has broken my sleep so very grumpy

PhonePestReporter reported 01905744557 as ‘aggressive advertising’:

The PEST is: Domestic & General 🙁
They are a cold-calling pest phishing for new Loft Insulation contracts. 
I have automated calls on a daily basis for 2 months now – 3 rings and they hang up – never leaving a message. 

He (or she) goes on to voice the agonies of all those keen to see cold calling condemned to the past:

I wish the government would provide the regulators with some teeth to prosecute all these highly persistent phone pests making MULTIPLE nuisance calls. I changed my number relatively recently to avoid this, and I’m ex-directory and I’ve “opted out” so they should check before they call. I give my number out rarely to only be used by the individual companies I have to deal with. Therefore I know they have somehow acquired my number via some list processed illegally.

However, there is a ray of hope; the House of Lords are currently backing a bill which would see the UK go one step further than the USA and outlaw unsolicited calls and texts altogether. The Unsolicited Telephone Communications Bill has been provisionally passed and is to be submitted for a second reading. This strict set of regulations would mean that all telemarketers would have to gain the consent of their ‘marketees’ before calling; no mean feat when you consider the percentile of the population who’d voluntarily give the time of day to a PPI-pusher.

The regulation itself would be centralised and overseen by Ofcom, a gargantuan task necessitaing much closer surveillance than is currently, by all accounts, in effect. Moreover, such a drastic measure, as Lord Gardiner of Kimble notes, could be disastrous for the direct marketing industry. These are significant considerations which may regrettably cause the bill to stutter.

The APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Nuisance Calls are nonetheless bravely pushing for change; be it a wholesale ban on unsolicited calls, or a much-needed enforcement of the current regulations, the winds of change may yet be whistling through the realms of coldcalling.

In the meantime, be sure to arm yourself by looking up unknown numbers on www.tellows.co.uk, reporting rogue or pest callers to the ICO or TPS and second-guessing any implausible claims an opportunist scam caller may make. Your phone line is your own! May others respect it.

Have a wonderful week!

Your tellows team

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Weekly Update on the Top 5 Nuisance Callers

Dear friends of tellows,

it has been another week filled with telephone spam calls. As always, we present to you the top 5 most wanted numbers of the past five days. This week the list is dominated by telephone numbers used for telemarketing purposes, but see for yourself:

1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4556 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 01782747000 with 4 comments and 2613 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4428 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01133902114 with 4 comments and 3430 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01383620466 with 8 comments and 1921 search requests. tellows Score: 8

The first number this week, 01143072406, is calling from Sheffield and, with a tellows score of 7, is rated as rather untrustworthy by our users. Reporting the calls as telemarketing, user Brian offered further information on the caller:

A woman asked about ‘Free Cavity wall insulation’, allegedly from British Gas. Just did not seem right. We’re with TPS, and now I’m annoyed. She was not aggressive, or pushy, but I do not want random people ringing me at home.

Similarly, the second place on this week’s list, number 01782747000 has been used for telemarketing calls – this time to bath-related tools and features. Some users, however, question the authenticity of the caller: user Delboy, for instance, wrote:

Can’t see how 01782747000 can be a legitimate company selling bath lifts, because if you phone it they try and sell you legal representation services. I think the previous poster is confused between care-knight and bath-knight. I’m sure batch-knight are a very reliable company, but care-knight are definitely the company behind these cold calls on 01782747000.

Ranking on third place, number 01415676218 is reported for telemarketing and silent calls. Dave commented:

This number rings mobile every night regardless of day. Have not answered it as suspect it is a telesales or something. Never leaves a message

Our fourth number this week, 01133902114, is calling from Leeds and has been reported as a telemarketer. Even though some users question the legitimacy of the calls, others have allocated the number to a well-known UK internet service provider.

Last but not least, number 01383620466 has been keeping the telephone lines of our users busy as well. User Pamela sums up the problem with the number in four words:

Silent calls, constant calling

If you have any further details on this or any other number, don’t hesistate to share them with the tellows community and help others to avoid telephone scams and spams. – It will be very much appreciated. Other than that, have a nice weekend free of telephone scams and spam!

Your tellows team

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